Help Stop the Spread of the Spotted Lanternfly

Posted: October 14, 2021

Spotted Lanterfly
Adult Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, and Vietnam. The pest was discovered in the U.S. in 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and has since spread across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, New York, Connecticut and Ohio.

They have certain key ecological traits: they have few natural predators in their new home; they are very prolific and reproduce quickly; and they are flexible in their ecological requirements such as food, habitat, and temperature tolerances.

Once established, the spotted lanternfly can wreak havoc on our native species, which have never had the chance to meet them and evolve to compete or defend themselves against these newly introduced species. Due to the insects’ potential to greatly impact agriculture and hardwood trees, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) has instructed individuals to destroy the insects upon sightings.

For additional resources from the NJDA about the invasive bug and how to help control the spread, visit the NJDA website.